Have you considered Minnesota for your next vacation? Explore the languid Mississippi, sign up for adrenaline-pumping water parks, shop at iconic malls, spend a night under the mystical northern lights, immerse yourself in culture at performing arts theaters—there’s so much to do in this beautiful state you’ll never want to go home!
Ready to explore the land of first settlers, museums, expansive state parks, and skyways? Then let our list of 10 best resorts in Minnesota be your guide on your next vacation!
1. Gunflint Lodge
There’s a reason why the Gunflint Lodge is always our first go-to resort in Minnesota!
Nearly a hundred years of excellent service keep loyal guests coming back to this resort for romantic getaways, family time, or simply to find some peace to strengthen their mind, body, and spirit.
Come summer or winter; there’s always something to do or see at Gunflint Lodge. Ride horses, go dog sledding, lounge by the lake, enjoy a warm fire with hot cocoa, canoe to your heart’s delight, watch the sunset with a glass of the finest wine or grab chowder by the shore—there’s something for every kind of holiday go-er.
If you prefer something more blood-pumping, try fat biking, ATV tours, cross country skiing, and more! Coming with family? Entertain children and adults of all ages with ghost storytelling by bonfire-lit nights, dreamcatcher making, paint your hiking destination once you’ve walked the trail, enjoy a classic Celtic or Country music show.
Accommodation options at this family-run resort range from gorgeous rustic wood lodges and cabins to serene lake houses, and cottages on the property, making it perfect for singles, couples, and large families. Have a pet or two? Bring them along! Gunflint Lodge welcomes pets like they’re family.
We absolutely love Gunflint Lodges for their warmth, generosity, and hospitality. Is it any wonder why it always features in our recommendations, including our previous “Best Lodges in Minnesota” list?
2. Cedar Valley Resort
If your heart is set on purple-and-orange-tinted sunsets, misty mornings, a tree-dotted horizon dusted in every shade of autumn imaginable, gentle gurgling of rivers, then Cedar Valley Resort is perfect for you.
This premier family-oriented best resort in Minnesota guarantees a great vacation with its multiple cabin setup, a wide variety of activities, and scenic locale, given that it is just 5 minutes away from Lanesboro.
Here’s why it’s considered among America’s Prettiest Towns.
The resort has 11 log-sided cabins that can accommodate 2 to 38 guests. Each cabin has wireless internet that keeps you connected to the rest of the world if you are so inclined, and the kitchens are stocked with the necessary to help you prepare that fantastic meal for your loved ones.
The area teems with wildlife—whitetail deer grazing in dew-covered grass, eagles nesting in trees, foxes and coyotes hiding in wooded bluffs, and more. Whether you choose to bike, hike, fish, explore unique boutiques, golf, be part of jeep tours or sleigh rides—Cedar Valley Resort has something for moms, dads, and kids, as well as adventure lovers or those just looking for peace.
Don’t forget to check out the drool-worthy Aroma Pie shop, be part of the Amish tour, and enjoy a craft beer or two at Sylvan’s Brewing!
3. Eagle Nest Lodge
Next on our list of best resorts in Minnesota is Eagle Nest Lodge. What started out as a simple fishing camp almost a century ago is now a premier, full-service resort and the perfect getaway for those looking to spend hours on the water or the beach.
A collection of 14 cabins, the Eagle Nest Lodge is located on the north shore of Cutfoot Sioux and Winnibigoshish Lakes, which offer the best walleye fishing on this side of Minnesota. Cabins range in size from 3 bedrooms to 5 and can house small families up to groups of 19 people.
Although the main activities offered by Eagle Nest Lodge lean toward hunting and fishing, they have plenty of activities for guests of all ages. Canoes, paddleboards, paddle boats, hydro bikes, and sailboats are free for guests to use. For anglers, fishing licenses, baits and tackles, and boat rentals are available on the grounds. If you’d rather stay on land, indulge in a spot of volleyball, a few games of Bingo, ice cream socials, and treasure hunts. Should you enjoy hunting, Eagle Nest Lodge is the place to be for grouse, waterfowl, and deer.
Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, Eagle Nest Lodge is a slice of paradise that makes for the perfect escape from the humdrum life.
4. Quarterdeck Resort
The next stop on our list of best resorts in Minnesota is Quarterdeck Resort. If you love lake culture, then Quarterdeck Resort is your kind of paradise!
Spread across 27 acres of land on Gull Lake’s western shore, Quarterdeck Resort is considered among the finest resorts in the Brainerd Lakes area. Accommodation options range from a Beach House to Lakeside Cottages or Suites at the Lakeside Lodge or the Main Lodge.
There’s something for everyone here, from couples looking for a quiet retreat to families looking for grand adventures. Wake up to the sun’s rays bouncing off the lake’s surface, making it shimmer as the day progresses, enveloping the lodge in an incandescent hue.
With its understated elegance and panoramic views, this Boutique Resort is ideal for a romantic getaway and the perfect place for weddings and other celebrations.
Need something else to make your holiday memorable? Try the local attractions—from casinos to antiquing.
5. Grand View Lodge
If you want to experience what it was truly like to live in a log cabin from the 1900s, then Grand View Lodge is the place to go. Spread across several 100 acres, guests can stay at the North Boutique Hotel, the Main Property, or one of their finest log cabins.
Featuring in the National Registry of Historic Places, these log cabins remain to this day a magnificent sight to behold—a true testament to the quality of log cabin builders.
So, what are the things you can do here? Playing golf is definitely one of the most fun things you can do here. You have the Pines and the Preserve. Both are excellent courses to test your skills. The Pines, for example, features 27 holes, making it a challenge to even the most seasoned amateur golfers.
You can rent boats or jet skis to enjoy the lake. For a calmer experience, kayaks are available too. Gaga Balls to lawn games, snowshoeing to sand volleyball, live music, and skating rinks—there’s plenty to keep the family busy.
After an intense day, you’ll be happy to unwind at their Glacial Waters Spa—restore your body’s natural balance with the healing properties of mineral-rich waters from deep within the earth. Enjoy sumptuous meals at heated igloos, grab a light bite with a brew, beer, or wine, or visit Tanque Verde Cantina for authentic southwestern flavors.
6. Lutsen Resort
What’s it like to be inside a snow globe? Find out with a winter vacation at the Lutsen Resort, one of the best resorts in Minnesota.
Once the snow drops, this private cove turns into a gorgeous winter wonderland. How better to spend your time when everything around you is covered in a magical blanket of soft white? You can hike on snowshoes, ride a dogsled, rent a snowmobile, or speed down the side of a mountain on skis.
As soon as the weather gets warmer and the snow melts, Lutsen Resort turns into a green Eden with spellbinding waterfalls and lush greenery to make you want to stay forever in nature’s embrace. Enjoy live music, beach bonfires, tenkara fishing, naturalist programs, chase waterfalls, or pitch and putt golf.
But it is during summer that this place truly comes alive as Lutsen Resort’s loyal patrons flock to the lakeside and have a great time conversing, swimming, or riding boats and kayaks on the still water.
Pick your kind of lodging with options ranging from cliff-side townhouses to historic lodge rooms, poplar river condos, and guestrooms. No matter where you stay, the views are breathtaking—lakefront with towering pines.
7. Lost Lake Lodge
At only 70 years old, Lost Lake Lodge is one of the newest resorts on our list of best resorts in Minnesota. That doesn’t mean it can’t hold up to the others. The cabins found within the resort are just as beautiful as the ones offered in the other resorts and feature modern amenities that make your stay more comfortable.
There is no shortage of activities you can involve yourself in when you come and visit. Charter a 16ft fishing boat and speed your way across Lost Lake or Gull Lake or a 22ft pontoon for more casual fun. Paddleboats, canoes, and other inflatables are a fantastic way to have some shoreside fun. Sunbathe at a private beach, or indulge in ping pong, foosball, darts, pool, and other arcade-like games if you prefer indoor activities.
Lost Lake Resort owes its success by turning guests into friends and family. The level of isolation yet proximity to other areas make it a highly accessible vacation spot for vacationers looking for a short getaway.
8. Breezy Point Resort
Next on our list of best resorts in Minnesota is Breezy Point Resort. Visit Gooseberry island, play in the water, enjoy mesmerizing views of Pelican Lake, play several rounds of golf on Deacon’s Lodge golf course, relax at Serenity Spa, or stroll by the Marina and treat yourself to a night of fine dining by the water. There’s plenty to do when at Breezy Point Resort!
The resort offers accommodations like no other—stay at the Boat House (a four-bedroom lake home at the Marina), Governor’s House (luxury log home by the golf course), the Fawcett House (a gorgeous log mansion with cathedral ceilings), rustic condominiums called The Point, and more!
If you’re dropping by in the winter, make fantastic memories with the family by renting a fish house, downhill skiing, playing golf in the snow, or gliding across skating rinks. If you’re looking for music, lights, and lots of fun, join the locals at the Ice Fest. The whole family can enjoy pond hockey, horse and dog sleigh rides, bonfires, and mouthwatering seasonal gourmet specialties.
9. Arrowwood Resort
An exceptionally fantastic place for families to vacation in, you and your family can unwind from life’s hustle-bustle with jaw-dropping lodging—deck and patio luxury townhomes to guest rooms and cottages—all with scenic views of Lake Darling.
Activities for the family include creative crafts, cookie decorating, marshmallow roasts on bonfires, and more.
If you’re looking to explore all that Lake Darling and its nearby destinations have to offer, consider horseback riding or swimming and bird watching at Lake Carlos State Park. You could take the kids to Casey’s Amusement Park for a few rounds of bumper boats, go-karts, even mini-golf.
Spend a day strolling through downtown Alexandria—its authentic Scandinavian gift shops and boutiques will give one-of-a-kind souvenirs to remember your trip by.
Arrowwood Resort is also a great place for businesses and companies to hold annual conferences. They have impressive facilities and a range of activities for companies who want to reward their employees with a long weekend of fun and team-building.
10. Fair Hills Resort
And for the pièce de résistance, we offer a gem of a lodge hidden in the trees between Pelican Lake and Wildflower Golf Course, with the kind of laid-back resort charm you’d remember from the 70s and 80s!
It’s the quintessential, All-American family fun resort with recreational activities like treasure and scavenger hunts, tennis, tubing, waterslides, fishing, children’s cruise, speed golf, root beer floats, concerts, talent shows, sing-along parties, and more!
Fair Hills Resort is perfect for weddings, family reunions, or simply a safe place where the family can reconnect with each other away from the stress of daily life.
Specials at the resort include a Scandinavian dinner treat called Smorgasbord and lively folk music and entertainment event called Hootenanny. You can rent the 55ft pontoon boat for a spin across Pelican Lake, complete with complimentary popcorn and beverages.
In the mood to learn something new? The resort offers tennis, water-skiing, sailing, and slalom lessons.
Is it any wonder why Fair Hills Resort is one of the most awarded vacation spots based on the testimonies of reputable experts and vacation spots reviewers?
Vacation at One of the Best Resorts in Minnesota
Whether you’re looking to rent a kayak and just paddle around the lake, get lost in the woods on a bicycle, or simply explore the surroundings on foot, prepare yourself for awesome views, breathtaking sunrises, and picture-perfect getaway Enjoy!
Which of the best resorts in Minnesota piques your interest? Let us know in the comments section.
Still haven’t found your perfect getaway? Then keep learning about unique places to stay in Minnesota to book the perfect reservation for your next trip!
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- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.